When three-year-old Gavin suddenly wasn’t eating, but was constantly thirsty, urinating excessively and losing weight, his mother Melissa thought something was wrong but diabetes never entered her mind. She took him to his pediatrician, expecting the flu, but a glucose test revealed Gavin’s sugar levels exceeded 1000 mg/dL, and a urine test showed the presence of ketones.
“Gavin’s body was basically in starvation mode, and the diagnosis of type one came as a complete shock,” Melissa recalled. Gavin was taken directly to the emergency room, spending four days in the hospital. With no lineage of type one diabetes (T1D), Gavin was diagnosed in March 2015.
Like Melissa, Ashley had never thought about diabetes until her daughter Jasmine started showing symptoms at age 3. Ashley noticed Jasmine was always thirsty, and though Jasmine was fully potty trained and had not had an accident in a long time, suddenly she regularly started wetting the bed. Initially, Ashley thought it might have been because Jasmine was drinking so much and started cutting back on allowing her drinks before bedtime. But it didn’t solve the problem.
Working in health care, Ashley, a self-recognized worrier, suspected her daughter may have type one. Ashley brought Jasmine with her to the doctors’ office where she works and tested Jasmine’s urine. When she found sugar present, she made an appointment with Jasmine’s pediatrician. Her glucose tests exposed sugar levels exceeding 500 mg/dL, and Jasmine was admitted into the hospital, her stay lasting a couple of days.
“Jasmine was diagnosed on October 12, 2014. It’s easy to remember because it’s the day that changes your life,” said Ashley.
Both families are adjusting to life with T1D.
“It can get stressful when Gavin’s numbers are high or really low, especially when you’re going to a special event. You just can’t predict what might happen,” said Melissa. “But Gavin is doing really well with the blood sugar testing and even wants to help by doing it himself.
Ashley and Jasmine check Jasmine’s sugar levels at every meal and before her bedtime snack, approximately 4-5 times per day. And though Ashley had concerns about Jasmine’s care during the daytime, Ashley discovered some key information about her daycare provider.
“At first I was panicked and worried [about sending her to day care], but I felt better once I found out our day care provider also has type one. She helped me a lot and went step by step through what needed to be done and taught Jasmine’s teachers. It was comforting because at the time, she knew more about type one than me.”
For both Melissa and Ashley, the 2015 JDRF One Walk at Hudson Mills Metropark on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 will be their first time joining the more than 2500 advocates who come together to support JDRF’s efforts to fundraise for critical research for a cure.
“I’m excited to participate because of the support and being around others who are in the same situation I’m in,” said Melissa who will be participating as part of Team Gavin.
Team Jazzy, supporting Jasmine, is 20 members strong for One Walk. “I want to help support and raise money because if there’s a chance for a cure, that would be life changing for Jasmine,” said Ashley. “Seeing what these kids have to go through makes me want to take an active role in being part of the solution.”